Accessing In-Person Services (hospital / central services)

Accessing In-Person Services (hospital / central services)

There are a number of additional social factors that impact a patient’s ability to attend central / hospital based services that require travel. These include childcare / caring requirements and costs, ability / flexibility to take time off work, confidence in traveling / accessing services in unfamiliar environments and the ability to take a friend or partner with them. The flexibility of services to accommodate the needs of patients traveling from remote and rural areas can make a significant difference. For example through sensitively timing appointments to allow travel and minimise overnight stays, consideration of local bus services when making primary care appointments. Requirements to stay away from home for several days with lack of affordable accommodation or family support adds to recovery time and increases stress and distress. Fitness to travel becomes a major contributor to decision making when it involves flights/ferries/motoring significant distances.


Things are much worse than this submission implies. patients from Wigtownshire travel unnecessarily within 2 miles of the Beatson to attend Edinburgh, a 6.5-hour journey by car. This results in a reduced level of care and travel is associated with excess mortality. After 20 years unnecessary suffering persists. When Dundee cancer patients were sent half that distance to Glasgow because of oncology staff shortages immediate plans to solve the problem and mitigate harms appeared. Different standards apply to rural and remote patients.

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